Five ways to write a convincing call to action

Creativity doesn’t stop once you’ve finished your body copy. Here are five frameworks you can use to spice up your calls to action.

Five ways to write a convincing call to action

All marketing content has an agenda or objective. Sometimes it’s just contributing to a discussion or trying to make audiences think and feel in a certain way. But most of the time, there’s a concrete action we want our audience to take.

This call to action can often seem like an afterthought, a tiny “get the ebook” at the end of the email that doesn’t require a second glance. But these few words can have immense power, and can even mean the difference between a conversion and a missed opportunity.

Here are five frameworks you can use to create compelling calls to action with a whole range of different impacts.

1: The command

This is the most direct, and probably most common CTA you’ll find in content marketing. It keeps things simple by telling your audience exactly what they should do next: “read the ebook”, “take the survey”, “get your white paper”.

Pros: Direct, straight to the point, and easy to create

Cons: As the most common of CTAs, it doesn’t stand out

2: The question

Sometimes the indirect approach is best. Instead of telling a reader to do something, leave a lingering thought in their minds. Something that stays with them long after they’ve finished reading: “what could you achieve with [product]?” “what other challenges can we help you solve?”

Pros: Intriguing and can often stand out

Cons: Can come across as condescending or vague

3: The negative

This often crosses over with the question CTA, but with the negative CTA you focus more on what the reader will be missing out on or risking, rather than what they stand to gain: “don’t miss out”, “what’s missing from your data centre?” “does your solution stack up?”

Pros: Can be eye-catching and provocative

Cons: You risk coming across as smug

4: The benefit-led

Similar to the command CTA, this method involves recommending an action – but not one around the specific content. Instead of “download the asset”, you tell the reader to “explore your cloud potential,” “see what you could achieve with [product]”, “start your transformation”.

Pros: Flows better in-text and stands out

Cons: Can come across as vague

5: The in-text CTA

Why use a CTA button at all? Some calls to action work better when flowed directly into the text. So instead of “get in touch”, you’d tell the reader: “our cloud experts are on-hand to help you get the most out of your migration. Get in touch today to kick-start your journey to the cloud.”

Pros: Flows well and offers more detail

Cons: Less punchy than shorter CTAs

Super-charge your CTAs now

These are some of the common ways you can approach your CTAs. While I’ve tried to give the general pros and cons of each, your approach will always need to match the type of content you’re writing, your audience, and your brand’s voice.

Whether you need to be direct, inquisitive, or lead with the benefits, there’s a way to spice up your CTAs and make them work even harder.

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George’s analytical mind helps him quickly tackle the nuts and bolts of our clients’ technologies, and articulate even the most complex subjects in a clear, concise, and carefully targeted way. With more than 10 years’ experience writing for a huge range of B2B technology clients, he’s one of our most versatile copywriters.

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